A list of behaviors that may indicate a
security or suitability issue is given below. This is the same list that is also found
under Standards of Personal Conduct. It is
based on the adjudicative guidelines for approving or revoking security clearances.
You should consider reporting these behaviors
when observed, so that your supervisor or the security office can check whether some type
of prophylactic or investigative action is appropriate.
||If ignored, problems signaled by these
behaviors could impair the health, well-being, or performance of the individual employee,
disrupt the work unit, or lead to compromise of sensitive information. People Who Made a Difference provides examples of such
reporting that either helped a co-worker avoid trouble or caught a spy.
People who engage in destructive behavior in the
workplace, whether it be theft of government or company property, violence, or espionage,
are generally under a great deal of stress from some kind of personal problem or career
crisis. If we care about our co-workers and our organization's mission, we need to be
sensitive to our co-workers' problems.
Early intervention is often the key to
quick, effective resolution of problems without harm to the individual or the
The fact that an individual exhibits one or
more of the behaviors listed under below certainly does not mean he or she is a security
risk. Any security judgment is based on a pattern of behavior, not a single action. And it
is a "whole person" judgment that takes many different factors into account,
including a person's strengths as well as their weaknesses.
The list of security-relevant behaviors is not
a checklist for collecting information on your co-workers. It simply provides examples of
behaviors that may signal an individual is having problems or may need assistance.
Consider this list, together with everything else you know about the individual and the
sensitivity of the individuals position, then exercise your best judgment in
determining whether to report and, if so, what, when, and to whom to report. The
appropriate office to contact in some cases may be the Employee Assistance Program or
medical office, rather than the security office.
Employee Assistance Programs and other
counseling services assist employees in resolving problems before the employees
health, well-being or job performance are seriously affected. They handle problems in such
areas as substance abuse, family/marital relationships, stress management, mental health
(especially depression), financial counseling, compulsive gambling, etc.
Working together, we can identify problems
earlier, hopefully render assistance before a situation becomes irreversible, and
ultimately help our colleagues and protect the national security. Additional information
on some of these issues is available in Understanding and
Helping with Personal Problems.
The list of security-relevant behaviors is
not all-inclusive. It is not government policy, but simply illustrative of the kinds of
behaviors that may be considered when deciding whether a person should hold a position of
trust. Some behaviors are obviously more significant than others.
- Appearing intoxicated at work.
- Driving while intoxicated.
- Concealing alcohol at work or in the car.
- Irresponsible behavior while under the
- Unexplained, repeated absences on Monday
- Going "on and off the wagon."
- Comments admitting excessive drinking.
- Cannot remember something that happened while
- Use of alcohol as means of coping with stress.
- Uncharacteristically slurred speech,
disorientation, or lack of coordination.
Allegiance to the United States
- Actual or threatened use of force or violence
in an effort to change government policy, prevent government personnel from performing
their assigned duties, or prevent others from exercising their constitutional rights.
- Knowing participation in any organization or
group that advocates or threatens use of force or violence, as above
- Fraud (for example, bribery or solicitation of
bribes, misuse of government credit card, misuse of leave, fraudulent travel or expense
accounting, tax fraud).
- Pattern of disregard for rules and regulations
(in addition to theft and fraud, this includes taking classified information home at
night, driving while intoxicated, etc.).
- Spouse or child abuse or neglect.
- Attempts to enlist others in illegal or
- Use of illegal/illicit substances.
- Misuse of prescription medication (use other
than as prescribed).
Emotional, Mental, and Personality Disorders
- Pattern of significant change from past
behavior, especially relating to increased nervousness or anxiety, unexplained depression,
hyperactivity, decline in performance or work habits, deterioration of personal hygiene,
increased friction in relationships with co-workers, isolating oneself by rejecting any
- Expression of bizarre thoughts, perceptions,
- Pattern of lying and deception of co-workers
- Talk of or attempt to harm oneself.
- Argumentative or insulting behavior toward
work associates or family to the extent that this has generated workplace discussion or
has disrupted the workplace environment.
- Exploitation or mistreatment of others through
intimidation or abuse of power or position.
- Other disruptive workplace behavior that
resists supervisory direction or counseling.
- Verbal outbursts drawing attention of those
not directly involved in the exchange.
- Verbal or physical threats toward work
associates or family.
- Inability to control anger -- throwing things,
acts of violence.
- Stalking-type behavior (such as unwanted
following, harassing phone calls).
- Extreme or recurrent statements of bitterness,
resentment, vengeance, or disgruntlement that suggest a risk of some illegal or improper
- Threats or attempts to get even with work
associates, acts of vindictiveness.
- Unexplained or sudden affluence. (Note: This
is also covered as a counterintelligence indicator.
- Calls at work from creditors.
- Denial of credit.
- Bounced or bad checks.
- Garnishments, repossessions, unfavorable
judgments, or other indications of financial difficulty.
- Failure to make child or spousal support
- Reckless or compulsive spending, extensive
gambling losses, evident gambling debt.
- Improper handling of official finances or
property, including repeated delinquent accountings for advances, unexplained cash.
- Shortages or loss of property, sloppy handling
of cash funds, disregard for financial or property administration regulations.
Report unexplained affluence
- Unreported personal contacts with personnel
from a foreign intelligence service, foreign government, or persons seeking classified,
proprietary, or other sensitive information.
- Unreported close and continuing contact with a
foreign national, including intimate contacts, shared living quarters, or marriage.
- Unreported relatives, or unreported contact
with relatives, in a foreign country.
- Unreported relationship between relative,
associate, or person sharing living quarters and any foreign government, foreign
intelligence service, criminal or terrorist group, or group advocating disloyalty toward
- Exercising benefits of dual citizenship,
including possession and use of a foreign passport.
- Such a deeply held commitment to helping a
foreign country or group that an individual may be tempted to circumvent U.S. policy or
security regulations in order to assist the foreign country or group.
Misuse of Information Technology Systems
- Unauthorized entry into any compartmented
- Unauthorized searching/browsing through
classified computer libraries.
- Unauthorized modification, destruction,
manipulation, or denial of access to information residing on a computer system.
- Storing or processing classified information
on any system not explicitly approved for classified processing.
- Attempting to circumvent or defeat security or
auditing systems, without prior authorization from the system administrator, other than as
part of a legitimate system testing or security research.
- Failure to report paid or volunteer work for
any U.S. or foreign media, publisher, academic institution, research organization or
corporation relating to the topics on which one has access to classified information.
(See the topic on your responsibility to report certain outside
activities in which you engage.)
- Recurring pattern of poor judgment,
irresponsibility, or emotionally unstable behavior.
- Deliberate omission or falsification of
material information about background when applying for security processing.
- Voluntary association with persons involved in
- Indications subject may succumb to blackmail
rather than risk exposure of a personal issue.
- Also see indicators of Emotional, Mental and
- Persistent lax security habits despite
management counseling (such as discussing classified information on nonsecure phone, not
properly securing classified information or areas, working on classified material at
- Statements or actions that demonstrate an
individual believes the security rules do not apply to him/her.
- Unauthorized contact with media.
- Note: Other issues relating to mishandling of
classified information are covered under counterintelligence indicators.
- Pattern of self-destructive and high-risk
sexual behavior that the individual is unable to stop.
- Criminal sexual behavior.
Related Topic: Spy Stories.